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…truth, the truth of the truth, and peace…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on May 29, 2006


Rebbe Nachman of Breslov said: there is truth, the truth of the truth, and peace. Truth is: a kid stole an apple. The truth of the truth is: the kid was hungry. Peace is: Nobody stole anything; give the kid an apple!” (Heard from Reb Shlomo Carlebach – picked up at Kolel)

What is the Truth? And why would we rather pursue the Truth than achieve Peace? And what is Rebbe Nachman trying to teach us here?

I think that we most often look for the truth without looking for the reason for the truth or for the peaceful way to solve human interaction is because we have been told that the Truth is somehow Sacred. Someone hurt us. Why? What lay behind the action or words that hurt – what was in the other’s heart? Perhaps they were having a bad day at work, and simply didn’t have enough emotional energy to keep it in when they interacted with us. Perhaps they are going through a really tough time at home. Or they might be just under a lot of stress in general. That is the Truth of the Truth. Perhaps we find it difficult to extend the benefit of a doubt, because to do so would mean admitting that not just the people around us are weak, but that we are?

I think he is trying to teach us that there are offenses and there are offenses, and before we judge whether a real offense has been committed, we need to weigh the circumstances and that in most cases, dismissing any allegations or thoughts that an offense has been committed is preferable, because it gives all involved Peace. I also think he is trying to convey a Principle about G-d.

G-d works from the angle of Peace. He looks at our offenses and because we turn to Him with our shortcomings He says: Nothing happened here – here, have a blessing!”. The biggest problem is that we don’t work from that angle, and therefore we have great trouble rrealizing that G-d does. We treat our fellow humans from the “the truth is the truth is the truth”, instead of looking beyond the Rock-Hard truth and see the Person.

G-d always sees the Person. May we learn to do so too.

Shalom!

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4 Responses to “…truth, the truth of the truth, and peace…”

  1. MikeK said

    Personally, I think the “truth” is sacred. However, it is, like any tool, how we use it that counts.
    My pocket knife has never been thought of as a weapon, even when I was mugged, it is a tool I used to cut wires when I needed to splice them, carve wood, etc.
    I think truth is like this too. We have to hold on to what is true (for instance, the boy that stole should remember it), but we also have to use it properly (he stole because I was starving, thus we ask if he had enough or needs more; all he must do is ask and we may be able to help, then he stops stealing and becomes “family”).
    I think that is a G-d given goal, to make our “neighbors” our family.
    What do you think ?

    Like

  2. MikeK said

    Personally, I think the “truth” is sacred. However, it is, like any tool, how we use it that counts.
    My pocket knife has never been thought of as a weapon, even when I was mugged, it is a tool I used to cut wires when I needed to splice them, carve wood, etc.
    I think truth is like this too. We have to hold on to what is true (for instance, the boy that stole should remember it), but we also have to use it properly (he stole because I was starving, thus we ask if he had enough or needs more; all he must do is ask and we may be able to help, then he stops stealing and becomes “family”).
    I think that is a G-d given goal, to make our “neighbors” our family.
    What do you think ?

    Like

  3. Dov Aryeh said

    “I think that is a G-d given goal, to make our “neighbors” our family.
    What do you think ?”

    Yeah.

    But I also think that the Sage wanted us to see that some truths are truths with modification. I.e that sometimes we must actually let compassion and the desire for peace over-rule what would be considered the plain truth.

    As we cannot see the entire picture, we need to look deeper, and that might reveal the truth of the truth and going beyond that it might reveal that what we so devoutly cling to is not a real matter at all.

    Dov

    Like

  4. Dov Aryeh said

    “I think that is a G-d given goal, to make our “neighbors” our family.
    What do you think ?”

    Yeah.

    But I also think that the Sage wanted us to see that some truths are truths with modification. I.e that sometimes we must actually let compassion and the desire for peace over-rule what would be considered the plain truth.

    As we cannot see the entire picture, we need to look deeper, and that might reveal the truth of the truth and going beyond that it might reveal that what we so devoutly cling to is not a real matter at all.

    Dov

    Like

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